Archives for March 2012

High School Gear: Newton North (MA) captains combine to showcase Tigers’ gear

LaxGearZone.com, Posted 3/26/12

Four senior captains for the Newton North High (MA) Tigers worked together to help design their team’s gear logos for 2012.

Cascade Pro7 helmet, Brine King 3 gloves

The four – Nate Menninger (LSM), Ben Howard (defenseman), Will Spiro (attackman) and Jake Schearman – decided a simple Newton North “N” and Tiger logo would be best.

Under Armour pinnie, shooting shirt, practice shorts

Last year Spiro designed the team’s shooting shirts, pinnies and shorts.

“I got involved in designing the gear to give our team an image,” said Spiro, a three-year starter who has scored over 50 career goals. “It can pull everyone together when we all have cool stuff.”

“I feel that outfitting the team the way the players want more so than what the coach wants not only makes us feel more confident but might also attract more fans,” said Menninger, who is committed to Hamilton. “Lacrosse has become a sport that is almost as involved in fashion as it is in skill and technique. Clothes add a layer of comfort ability and ‘swag’ that is unique to the team, and in turn, the individual player.”

Under Armour game shorts

Said Howard: “I think players like to look good when they play. I’ve always liked the motto ‘look good, feel good, play good’ and I think it applies to many sports, lacrosse include of course.
“I think players like to look good and feel confident when they are on the field, and as a result more players have taken interest in designing their team’s gear.”

Howard believes the Tigers can be a state contender this year. The Tigers return most of their starters from a team that went 10-9 and reached the playoffs in 2011.

“As far is this years season goes I think our team is excited and shooting to make a run deep into post season play. That is something our program hasn’t accomplished for quite a while now and I think we have a great group of committed athletes who are willing to do what it takes to get the result we want.

“We hope to make a good run in the playoffs, of course, but we have to start with the regular season and making it into the playoffs,” Spiro said. “We have many returning starters and should be really good based off of what I have seen this preseason. “

Menninger is also confident of his team’s chances.

“Like any team our expectations are to win the state championships,” he said. “We feel we will have the best shot at doing so this year because of who we’ve got coming back. Our success will be determined by our work ethic.”

Here on LaxGearZone, Newton North is showing its Under Armour pinnie, shooting shirts and game and practice shorts, as well as its Cascade Pro7 helmet, and Brine King 3 gloves.

Want your team profiled on LaxGearZone.com? E-mail us at laxgearzone.com@gmail.com

High school Gear: Gonzaga (D.C.) Purple Eagles flash new helmets

LaxGearZone.com, Posted 3/22/12

Gonzaga College High (D.C.) has long been a power in the Potomac region, winning back-tback Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships. This year the team is 6-0 and ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation by Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse, MaxPreps and ESPNHS.

Gonzaga Pro 7 helmets with logo by ZimaGear

But the team is also known for its cool nickname, the Purple Eagles.

Last year Gonzaga made the national headlines when sophomore Matt Borda hurled an unbelievable full-field goal to clinch the conference title vs. Good Counsel.

The Purple Eagles will be playing Saturday vs. Wootton (4 p.m.) in the LacrossePlayground.com Spring Classic at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

LaxGearZone.com is showcasing the Purple Eagles’ new wing decals by ZimaGear on their Cascade Pro 7 helmets.

High School Gear: Lower Merion (PA) wearing 4th ID Army Infantry decals to honor older brother deployed in Afghanistan

By Chris Goldberg
LaxGearZone.com, Posted 3/21/12

This year Lower Merion (Pa.) will honor 4th ID Army Infantry by wearing the division decal on their helmets. Freshman Paddy Black, a varsity midfielder for the Aces, wanted to honor the unit since his brother, former lacrosse player Brandon Mader (Class of 2007), is deployed with the unit in Afghanistan.

The following is Black’s first-person description of the idea to honor his brother’s unit.

Lower Merion Cascade Pro-7 helmet with 4th ID decal

The Decals

“I recently asked Coach (Mike) Borsch if it was OK to wear a decal on the back of my helmet this season to honor my brother while he was deployed. He quickly said yes and informed me that not only would I be wearing the decal, but the whole team.

“After discussions with my family it was decided that we would wear the 4th Infantry Division decal -not only to honor my brother but his whole division. For it is the whole division that makes the team and their motto ‘Steadfast and Loyal.’ It seems not only to apply to the 4ID, to my LM team, but also the history of the game.”

4th ID

“The 4th ID is one of the Army’s most recognized infantry divisions. The 4th ID was one of the first modern Infantry divisions in the US. They have been in almost every war the US has fought.

“They have fought in World Wars 1 and 2, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They are sent everywhere around the world. The 4th ID was one of the first combative Army units sent into Iraq. On 13, December 2003, the 1st Brigade of the 4th ID provided perimeter security for the U.S. Special Operations Forces that captured Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq.

“The division rotated out of Iraq in the Spring of 2004, and was relieved by the 1st Infantry Division. In May 2009, 1st and 2d Battalions, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4BCT, 4ID, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 1st Battalion was based in the Arghandab River valley, west of Kandahar. The 2nd Battalion was based in the Pech River Valley, Kunar Province, home to the Korengal, Waygal, Shuriak, and Wata Pour Valleys.

“During its time in the Pech Valley the 2d Battalion saw heavy fighting throughout the area. In June 2010, Task Force 1-12 and Lethal Warrior (2-12), 4th BCT, 4th Infantry Division redeployed to Fort Carson, Col., after a successful 12-month combat deployment in Afghanistan.

“Since December 1917, the 4th Infantry Division has remained ‘Steadfast and Loyal.'”

My brother Brandon Mader

“Brandon graduated from Lower Merion High School in 2007. At LM he played lacrosse all four years. He played junior varsity his freshman year and varsity in his sophomore, junior and senior year. During his junior and senior year he was named one of the team’s captains.

“After high school, Brandon went on to college to play D-3 lacrosse at Immaculata University. He started as a freshman and was also a team captain. After his freshman year ended, he felt as if something was missing. That summer he announced that he was going to join the Army, a dream he had since he was little.

“He told us that he was leaving the following June to go to Fort Benning, GA, for basic training. After basic training ended in September, he was told he was going to be stationed in Hawaii or Colorado. A week later he found out he was going to be stationed with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Col.

“There he trained for a month with his unit, 2nd Battalion-12th Infantry Regiment. After that month he was shipped out to Kunar Province, Afghanistan. He left in November of 2009. Thankfully in May of 2010 he returned to Fort Carson. After debriefing, he came home. In February of 2011 he attended Air Assault School in Kentucky and the Warrior Leader Course in Colorado. After that he returned to train with his unit because it was scheduled to ship out in March 2012.

“Brandon recently arrived in Afghanistan to start his second tour. Upon arrival he went in his bag to get his lacrosse stick out. Soon after, Mom got a message from him. It simply said ‘Mom can you please send me a shaft? I forgot mine In Colorado. I thought I packed it all, but I only have the head.’

“She replied ‘Sure Brandon.'”

High School Gear: Archbishop Wood (PA) shows off custom gloves and uniforms among its swag

LaxGearZone.com, Posted 3/20/12

Brine Custom Name and Number King 3 gloves

Armed with many key returnees, Archbishop Wood is looking to challenge for the top playoff positions this year in the Philadelphia Catholic League.

The Vikings, who went 8-10 last year, open Friday at Central Bucks West and open their home season March 27 at home vs. Bicentennial League champion New Hope-Solebury.

Cascade Pro-7 helmet

Coach Jim Beury’s Vikings are featured today on LaxGearZone with gear from LaxZone (Ambler, Pa.):

*Custom Brine King 3 gloves with player names and numbers on the side

*Stitched custom-made New Balance jerseys (home and away)

*and Cascade Pro-7 helmets, featuring the team logo on the side and Mohawk strip on the top.

Stitched New Blance uniforms - black

To submit an article for LaxGearZone.com, e-mail us at LaxGearZone@gmail.com.

Checking out the HS Gear: Springfield-Delco (PA) is a perennial state power

By Chris Goldberg
LaxGearZone.com, Posted 3/10/12

Our first high school presentation for LaxGearZone.com comes from the Springfield-Delco boys’ lacrosse team, a perennial power from the powerful Central League in Pennsylvania.

Springfield-Delco's Nike Baltimore Game Jersey

Nike Shooting Shirt

The Cougars, coached by Tom Lemieux, were Central League champions and the District 1

White Uniforms

runners-up in 2010 after placing third in the district in 2009. Last year they went 11-8 and reached the second round of the District 1 tournament.

Maverik arm, elbow pads

The gear shown today includes:

Cascade Pro7 helmet

Nike Lacrosse Baltimore Game Jerseys – blue, gold, white
Nike Shooting Shirts
Maverik arm, elbow pads
Maverik Rome Gloves
Nike pinnies

Nike pinnies

Cascade Pro7 helmets

Gold uniforms

Maverik Rome Gloves

To submit an article on your high school program for LaxGearZone.com, e-mail us at laxgearzone@gmail.com.

National gear safety: Bullis School (MD) earns victory in first game wearing rugby helmets

By Stephen London
LaxGearZone.com, Posted 3/6/12

The Bullis School (MD) became one of the first girls’ lacrosse team to wear self-mandated rugby-style helmets today when it hosted Paul VI (Va.) to open the season.

Considering that nine Bulldogs suffered concussions last year, players and coaches cannot deny the safety aspect of the game.

Bullis School captains Molly Morris (second from right) and Isabelle King don their helmets during the pre-game toss

Senior co-captain Molly Morris pumped in eight goals, including the game-winner with just over three minutes to play to lift Bullis School to an exciting victory.

Of course the topic of the game was the Navy blue helmets being worn by the Bulldog players. However, coaches and players said the helmets became less of a factor as the game progressed.

“I don’t think that there is any lack of mobility because of the helmets,” Bullis coach Kathleen Lloyd said. “When they introduced the goggles I think that effected their vision.”

It is obvious when watching these two teams to see that each team has their superstar. Senior Morris was a force all night and for Paul VI, junior Gabrielle Nieves poured in seven goals.

Bullis School's gear now includes a Navy blue rugby helmet

“It (the helmet) didn’t affect us,” said Morris.

Whether or not the helmets affect the way teams or officials treat the Bulldogs is still to be determined. However, the topic of using helmets in girls’ lacrosse continues to be a huge issue with the added emphasis on prevention of concussions.

Last year two Bullis players, wearing helmets after suffering concussions. One of those players, senior Carley Sturges, intends to continue wearing her helmet for as long as she plays the game. She has committed to Roanoke.

Due to injuries to Sturges and many others, Bullis officials decided all varsity and JV players would wear the helmets this season.

“There has been a lot of curiosity about them,” said Lloyd. “[Everyone] has been asking us about them… but it is up to them to choose.”

Paul VI head coach Carrie Conques may consider having her girls wear helmets, considering she had two players out with concussions.
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“It couldn’t hurt, anything to make our kids safer.” Conques said.

Bullis School 14, Paul VI 13

Paul VI 8-5-13
Bullis 7-7-14
Bullis: Molly Morris 9G, 1A;Chelsea Widerlite 2g; Isabel King 1G, 1A; Morgan Cafritz 1G; Caitlin McMahon 1G; Collette Roa 1A; Dazia Hall 1A; Carley Struges 1A.
Paul VI: Gabrielle Nieves 7G; Sydney Kristek 4G; Mary Krolicki 1G; Alyssa Tutone 1G

National gear safety: Bullis School (MD) senior Sturges happy that entire team is wearing helmets in 2012

By Chris Goldberg
LaxGearZone.com, Posted 3/5/12

Carley Sturges said she understands why some believe that girls should not wear helmets because it could change the way the game is played.

Carley Sturges

But the Bullis School senior says she would never play the game of lacrosse again without wearing a helmet and supports the decision made by school officials that is requiring Bullis School players to wear rugby helmets this season.

The decision to have all Bullis school players wear rugby helmets was made in the off-season by school officials and Bulldogs coach Kathleen Lloyd after nine of the players sustained concussions in lacrosse or sports-related incidents.

Sturges, an attack player who recently committed to Division III Roanoke College, missed two months of the 2011 season after being whacked in the temple by a stick during a winter tournament. After that she decided to wear a rugby helmet.

“I got hit going for a groundball,” Sturges said. “The girl knocked my goggles off and I completely wiped out. I kept on playing, but I was dazed and I knew something was wrong.”

Since Bullis School does baseline testing, it was easy to determine that Sturges had sustained a concussion. She returned to the field in late march during the spring season but only felt comfortable while wearing a rugby helmet recommended by school trainers.

“I knew that wearing a helmet cannot completely protect me,” she said. “I stopped wearing it after a few weeks back from my concussion and I found that I wasn’t playing the same way I was with the helmet on because I was very hesitant and scared of getting checked in the head again.

“The helmet doesn’t hinder my play at all,” she said. “If anything it helped me build my confidence back up because it protected my head.

“I don’t really think about playing lacrosse without my helmet any more. It’s a part of me now.

Sturges admits that not all the girls on her team wanted to wear helmets. After wearing the helmets for preseason practice and several scrimmages, though, coach Katherine Lloyd reported that the girls have adjusted fine to the new equipment.

“I know it won’t prevent anything from happening, but it can help,” Sturges said. “A lot of people (like the girls on my lacrosse team at school) hated the idea of having to wear a rugby helmet.

“They don’t want to look stupid, but I would rather look stupid than get another concussion and never be able to play the sport I love again.”

The Navy blue helmets were distributed when practice began a week ago and Bullis opens its season Tuesday when it hosts Paul VI (Va.) at 5:30 p.m.

“When I found out (we would all be wearing them) I was really surprised,” Sturges said. “I thought I would be the only one wearing a helmet. At the same time, I felt kind of relieved because it’s annoying walking on the field having people stare at you.

“Now everyone will be staring at all of us.”

Last year two girls from Long Island’s Shoreham-Wading River, Alex Fehmel and Clare Blomberg, began using helmets because they suffered concussions.

As a result of the increased number of concussions and the increased media attention concussions have received at the high school, college and pro levels, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a new law that will increase protections for student-athletes who suffer concussions, a decision supported by Long Island legislators.

The new law requires any student who is believed to have suffered a concussion to be immediately removed from athletic activities and banned from returning until he or she is symptom-free for at least 24 hours and cleared by a physician.

Also, the law mandated that\s coaches, teachers and other school personnel are to receive training about concussion symptoms. The measure became effective July 1.
Sturges said that girls should have the right to wear more protection.

“I think that helmets are a good idea because of the amount of girls that are getting concussions from being checked in the head these days due to how competitive and aggressive the sport has become,” she said. “We need to realize that we need to protect our heads, and if refs aren’t going to be consistent with how they call the games, then you need take the matters into your own hands.

“We need to be more aware of what can happen when you swing at someone’s head trying to check their stick or if someone swings at your head as well.

“But at the same time I feel like if everyone has to begin wearing helmets than the aggressiveness of the game will be taken to a whole new level because some might feel as though they can’t get hurt because they are wearing a helmet, and that you can’t hurt anyone else because they are wearing a helmet as well.

“I know this topic is really controversial right now with girls’ lacrosse, and I would rather protect myself because you never know what can happen.”

National gear safety: Bullis School (MD) to wear rugby helmets this year after rash of concussions in 2011 season

By Chris Goldberg
LaxGearZone.com, Posted 3/5/12

The Bullis School girls’ lacrosse team has voluntarily decided to wear rugby helmets for the 2012 season in an effort to provide added protection against concussions.

The Bulldogs, who open their season Tuesday at home vs. Paul VI (Va.) at 5:30 p.m., had nine players suffer concussions last year while playing lacrosse or another sport.

Bullis players (from left) Carley Sturges, Rachel Stouck, Molly Morris, Isabelle King, Katie Calder and Katie Silverstein don the new rugby helmets being worn this year by all team members.

One of the players, senior attack Carley Sturges, began wearing the helmet last season after being out for several months due to a concussion sustained in a winter tournament and continued to wear the helmet in the summer and fall tournament season. One other Bullis player, Lauren Raffensperger, also wore the helmet last year after sustaining a concussion.

The custom-made, Navy blue helmets being used at Bullis are manufactured by Love Rugby Company of Centrevilla, Va. They meet current US Lacrosse guidelines as an accepted headgear because they are not a hard-surfaced helmet.

Officials from US Lacrosse and Bullis School wished to clarify that the helmets – nor any protective headgear – cannot prevent concussions. Bullis coach Kathleen Lloyd said the decision made by the school was simply made to help lessen the possibility of more head injuries.

Lloyd admitted that some girls were originally apprehensive about wearing the helmets. But school officials felt safety was the No. 1 priority and that the helmets would not impede vision or control.

Bullis players (from left) Molly Morris, Kaite Silverstein, Katie Calder and Isabelle King

“I told the girls you gain respect by how you play on the field, not what you look like,” said Lloyd. “We buy the kids the best equipment, why can’t we have the right to buy the best stuff to protect their head and teeth?

“When parents heard what we were doing, they said, ‘It’s a great idea to protect the kids I want my daughter to enjoy herself without having too much risk.’
“The helmets are going great. No problems. People are curious. The girls are definitely getting used to them and don’t even think about them anymore. We had our last indoor game (Sunday) and they put them on without even a reminder.

“They don’t mind being the only ones wearing them either. They said it kept their ears warm yesterday at the playday. I had several parents from other teams comment and say that they would like their daughters’ team to wear them. Some girls even feel more confident with them and not scared as much of getting hit.”

Ann Carpenetti, US Lacrosse Managing Director for Game Administration, said US Lacrosse has been working hard in recent years to create a standard for women’s headgear. When that occurs, it would then be determined if US Lacrosse would consider requiring women to wear protective headgear or recommending it on a voluntary basis.

The girls at Bullis are not the only ones wearing helmets. Around the nation, girls have voluntarily began to wear them as the issue of concussions continues to be a major topic in sports. Last year two players on Shoreham-Wading River on Long Island made the national headlines because they wore soft-padded headgear. One of the players, junior Alex Fehmel, has been wearing helmet since she began playing varsity in 9th grade on a team that won a state championship.

“For officials and consumers, there is no standard for women’s head gear at this time, but some are OK to wear,” Carpenetti said. ‘What we don’t want is folks taking football helmets and putting in bubble wrap and thinking that is OK.

Carpenetti again warned that soft headgear can only provide some protection, but not prevention for concussions. The best way to cut down on concussions is for officials to closely call fouls when stick to head and stick body contact occurs and for coaches to teach proper checking skills.

This year high school rules are stressing that no checks can be made toward the body. In the past few years, checks toward the body had been legal if they were deemed “under control.” Also, no checking can be made in the 7-inch sphere; before it was legal to check through and away from the sphere.

“We know sticks hitting heads are not the only way concussions occur,” said Carpenetti. “Though research shows that stick to head impact is the primary reason for concussions.”
Recently the results of a study published in “The American Journal of Sports Medicine” focused on over 500 games played in the Fairfax County Public School system in Falls Church, Va., during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
The study looked at 14 of the 25 head injuries that occurred in those games and determined that fouls were called only twice.

Carpenetti said there is a need for more women’s umpires and more training as well as more emphasis on coaching proper techniques in checking. She noted that the game continues to grow at a swift pace and that more new players, coaches and umpires are getting involved in more and more regions that are just beginning to grow.

“There should not be a card only when you see blood,” Carpenetti said.

Carpenetti also said US Lacrosse would be looking closely at how the helmets impact play for Bullis School games since umpires will have the rare occasion of referring with one team that is wearing the helmets and another team that is not.

“Do I think the officials will call it differently because of the presence of rugby helmets?” Carpenetti said in response to the same question. “Certainly there is a difference when an unhelmeted team sees a helmeted team.

“How that team behaves will be of interest. More important is that the officials have the same rules and they need to enforce the rules consistently.”

Lloyd said she is unsure of whether the helmets will help cut down on injuries, but believes her players will be safer.

“We don’t know how it’s going to,” Lloyd said of the presence of the helmet. “One of my players (last year) got a concussion when she got tangled up and fell and hit her heard on the ground. It wasn’t a stick (that caused it), but it was due to rough play.

“Would a rugby helmet deter that? I don’t know. Maybe it would not be as severe. Maybe, but we don’t know.”

Lloyd, who has coached in high school and for top club teams for 16 years, said she has changed her stance on the issue of safety.

“I used to come from the stance of, if we had helmets, it would make the game rougher,” she said. “But as I looked into this and I’ve watched the girls play with new rules, it shouldn’t change the game.”